Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Progressive Insurance to Offer Rewards

Progressive’s motorcycle insurance customers can now look forward to more than just carefree days on the road. Riders insured with Progressive now earn benefits with its Loyalty Rewards program. Customers start earning rewards on day one. The longer they stay with Progressive, the more savings and benefits they receive.
“We give our loyal customers tangible rewards, like accident forgiveness and discounts, the longer they stay with us. Plus, the program is free and the rewards get better with time,” said Chris Johnson, director, customer relations. Progressive customers with auto, RV and boat policies also qualify for loyalty rewards. For more information, visit the Loyalty Rewards page on progressive.com. About Progressive The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies makes it easy to understand, buy, and use auto insurance. Progressive offers choices so consumers can reach us whenever, wherever, and however it’s most convenient for them—online at progressive.com, by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE, or in-person with a local agent. Progressive offers insurance for personal and commercial autos and trucks, motorcycles, boats, recreational vehicles, and homes. It’s the fourth largest auto insurer in the country, the largest seller of motorcycle insurance, and a leader in commercial auto insurance. Progressive also offers car insurance online in Australia at http://www.progressivedirect.com.au.

2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 First Look

Aprilia USA announces the return of its Shiver 750 as a 2011 model. This year’s Shiver carries over the same basic features from the predecessor, including its affordable-for-an-Italian-Twin MSRP of $8999, but delivers a sportier ergonomic package. A two-inch narrower seat leads the ergo changes, with Aprilia claiming better bike control from the revised perch. The Shiver’s handlebar position moves forward, with the footpegs placed further back, with the aim to pitch the rider in “a more race-riding position.” A narrower 5.5X17-inch rear wheel replaces the previous 6x17-inch unit, with Aprilia promising improved handling and faster turn-in speed. The Shiver upgrades visually from the 2009 model we tested, care of a short windscreen and wave brake rotors (read the 2009 Aprilia Shiver vs. Ducati Monster 696 Comparison). Unchanged is the 90-degree V-Twin powerplant. The 8-valve design measures a 92 x 56.4mm bore and stroke to reach its 750cc displacement. Power claims are 95 horsepower and 60 lb-ft torque. The 2011 Shiver does feature Aprilia’s Ride by Wire engine mappings, however, as standard feature, with three settings available: Sport, Touring and Rain. The chassis consists of a tubular steel frame and
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aluminum swingarm. Front suspension is a non-adjustable inverted 43mm fork with rear shock adjustable for rebound and preload. Braking comes via dual 320mm front disc and radial mount four-piston calipers. The rear brake is a single 245mm disc with single-piston caliper. The 2011 Shiver will be offered in Aprilia Black or Crowd Silver.

2010 WSBK Magny Cours Saturday Insider

In his last weekend in WSB before switching to MotoGP, Cal Crutchlow cemented his title as Mr. Superpole 2010 by securing his sixth pole of the season. The 25-year-old Sterilgarda Yamaha rider has shown blistering pace in qualifying all year, but it now remains to be seen if he has the race pace to stay at the front in the two races tomorrow. Compared to some of his rivals he has not shown the same level of consistency, but with tire life unlikely to cause a problem for anyone, he will for sure play a part in tomorrow’s races.
“It’s my last race weekend in WSB so it’s nice to be on pole,” said Crutchlow. “There are a lot of people in the UK here at Magny Cours and it’s nice to have their support. It’s also a payback to Yamaha who have put a lot of faith in me over the last two years and also for the next two years in MotoGP.” “I guarantee there will be two good races tomorrow. There are 17 guys that are really close and I look forward to entertaining the crowd.” Frenchman Sylvan Guintoli secured his best qualifying performance of the year, much to the delight of his home crowd. The Alstare Suzuki rider claimed second spot and has the added incentive of a good result tomorrow given that he currently has no contract for a ride in 2011. “It’s been a great day,” Guintoli said. ”We’ve been making progress all season and it’s good to do it here at my home race, even if I actually live in the UK. The feeling I have on the bike is good and I can push hard. I am happy with my race pace and I believe tomorrow will be a good day because I really want it.”
Czech rider Jacob Smrz finally got to grips with his Aprilia after a tough transitional period since switching from Ducati back in Brno. Smrz has secured his second front row start in a row. Despite still suffering the effects of the flu, Max Biaggi has been in impressive form all weekend and his Superpole performance was no exception. The 2010 WSB champion topped the timesheets in both Superpole 1 and Superpole 2 before securing fourth in Superpole 3. “This is a track that has been good for us last year,” Biaggi said. “I finished on the podium in both races and I know we can do a good job. I am surprised at the lap times because it is so close, much closer than last year because then there was only three or four us doing similar lap times. Now seven-tenths separates over 12 of us and this made qualifying very exciting. One mistake will cost a lot.”
Hannspree Ten Kate rider Jonathan Rea surpassed even his own expectations by making it into Superpole 3 to qualify sixth on the grid. Rea, who is riding with a broken scaphoid and ligament damage plus a dislocated shoulder, said:
“I’m running a shorter bike than I did yesterday and it’s helping me turn the bike. The grip from the track doesn’t feel as good today as it did yesterday but I’ve still been able to string some good laps together and I’ve done a race distance on a tire. My fitness for the race is still a question mark but I’m in a lot better shape than I thought I’d be in.”Carlos Checa secured his place on the second row and remains confident that he can run at the front in the race despite losing out on top speed and hard acceleration to his four cylinder rivals. Fellow Ducati riders Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga have also shown impressive race pace but it was a day of high drama for Haga. The Japanese rider, who crashed yesterday, suffered another two crashes today but still made it into Superpole 3 where he secured eighth on the grid. The Xerox Ducati rider, who has brilliant form at the French track, crashed heavily when he lost the front the moment he hit the brakes exiting the down-hill left at the end of the lap. In Supersport the championship leader, Kenan Sofuoglu, was in stunning form and has been the benchmark throughout qualifying. Title rival Eugene Laverty methodically chipped away at Sofuoglu’s advantage to secure second on the grid, but admitted that he has to ride harder than he would like and needs to make an improvement to his set-up during the morning’s warm-up.

Yamaha Re-Signs Jorge Lorenzo

Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd is delighted to announce that it has reached an agreement with Jorge Lorenzo whereby the Spaniard will remain with the factory for the next two years.
23-year-old Lorenzo, who joined Yamaha in 2008, has won an impressive seven races so far this season and is on target to take his first premier-class crown. He currently leads the standings by 56 points with five rounds remaining. Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing Lin Jarvis said, "we are extremely happy that we have reached an agreement with Jorge to remain a Factory Yamaha rider for 2011 and 2012. Since he joined three years ago he has made great progress and has improved himself every year to go from fourth place and ‘best rookie' in 2008, to second place in 2009, to challenging for the MotoGP championship title in 2010. I am particularly pleased to finally get the agreement in place here in Japan because it will now enable Jorge to focus all of his efforts and concentration in the coming weeks to try to secure his first MotoGP class rider's title. Being only 23 years old I believe Jorge has a long career ahead of him and hopefully he can win many world titles with Yamaha. "Jorge will be joined by Ben Spies in the Factory Team next year and with these two exceptionally talented hungry young riders we will start the 2011 season with the most exciting and competitive team in the paddock." Lorenzo added, "my first choice was always to stay here with Yamaha and I am very glad that this will happen. I feel happy here; I have good people around me, a strong relationship with Yamaha and a great bike. I want to say thanks again to Lin Jarvis, who has always supported me. Now we are focused on winning the championship but I am already excited about next season. I know that Ben and I can do a great job for Yamaha and I want to thank them for their belief in me."
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